The holiday season in Fort Frances officially kicks off tomorrow with the 53nd-annual “Parade of Lights.”
The lineup begins at 3 p.m. at the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau (old CN station), with the judging at 4 p.m. and then the parade getting underway by 4:30.
The route will go from the volunteer bureau to the Memorial Sports Centre via Central Avenue and Scott Street.
Due to the fact there is a hockey tournament at the arena this weekend and the parking lot will be congested, parade participants are reminded that when it disperses, and parents are picking kids up, they should do so in the safest manner possible and try to avoid parking in the parking lot at the arena, noted Brenda Kellar of Causeway General Insurance Brokers Ltd., which is organizing and sponsoring the parade this year.
As well, motorists are asked to avoid parking on Scott Street during the parade if they can, Kellar added, noting motorists who are not part of the parade also are asked to avoid using Fourth Street West during the parade lineup tomorrow afternoon.
This year’s theme is “The Lights & Sounds of Christmas,” and Kellar said the parade is shaping up to be at least as good as last year.
Some 21 floats had registered as of this morning—and she wouldn’t be surprised if more show up tomorrow afternoon during the lineup.
Those entering floats are reminded to do their best to make them festive and bright, and incorporate Christmas music if possible.
Prizes will be awarded in six categories: best presentation of music ($50), best church or school group float ($75), best non-profit organization float ($75), best business float ($75), best recreational group float ($75), and best decorated individual ($25).
Kellar reminded those who enter floats can give out candy along the way but, for the sake of safety, they must hand it out to parade-watchers (not throw it out to them).
Canada Post once again will have its mail truck out and postal carriers will be collecting children’s letters to Santa during the parade, so be sure to bring along those wish lists.
Meanwhile, the local Salvation Army and B93•FM once again will be collecting non-perishable food items, new toys, and money for the less fortunate during the parade.
As well, to help keep watchers warm, Taggs’ Source for Sports will be serving hot apple cider during the parade.
Meanwhile, free hot chocolate will be given out at stands set up at Causeway Insurance, the Northwestern Health Unit parking lot, and the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce office.